Historical archive

New measures to reach Norway’s ambitious climate targets

Historical archive

Published under: Stoltenberg's 2nd Government

Publisher Ministry of the Environment

The Government’s new white paper on climate policy contains proposals for concrete new measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Government proposes substantial cuts in emissions both in Norway and abroad.

The Government’s new white paper on climate policy contains proposals for concrete new measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Government proposes substantial cuts in emissions both in Norway and abroad.

Summary - Norwegian climate policy - Report No. 34 to the Storting (2006-2007)In its white paper the Government is proposing that Norway should have the world’s most ambitious climate targets. The country is to be carbon neutral by 2050, which means that all remaining emissions will be set off against emissions in other countries. We will improve on Norway’s commitment under the Kyoto Protocol by 10 per cent, and plan to cut global emissions of greenhouse gases by the equivalent of  30 per cent of our 1990 emissions by 2020. These targets will be achieved both by substantially reducing Norway’s emissions and by paying for cuts in other countries. The whole of the extra 10 per cent will be accounted for by reductions outside Norway.

The Government considers it realistic to reduce Norwegian emissions by 13-16 million tonnes CO2 equivalents in relation to the reference scenario presented in the National Budget for 2007, when CO2 uptake by forests is included. In this case between half and two-thirds of the cuts in our total emissions by 2020 would be made in Norway.

Sector targets are based on estimates, and will have to be reviewed in response to any changes in projections, costs, technological advances and other relevant factors. If the trend is not positive the Government will consider further measures.

“Our white paper confirms Norway’s position as a leading nation with regard to climate policy. The most important action we can take to reduce global emissions will be to serve as a driving force in the efforts to develop a new, more comprehensive international agreement on climate change. At the same time we ourselves will make substantial cuts in greenhouse gas emissions both at home and abroad,” said Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.

 “No previous government has done as much to combat climate change as the present one. The Government’s policy is to make sure that Norway continues its progress towards a low-emission society. Our proposals will affect a great many sectors of society,” said Minister of the Environment Helen Bjørnøy.

Giving priority to technological development
Research and technological development are major priority areas in the Government’s climate policy. Technological advances are vital if we are to find better and cheaper ways of reducing emissions in Norway and other countries.

New measures for reducing emissions
The white paper sets out a number of proposed measures for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Norway, including the following: 

  • Prohibiting landfilling of biodegradable waste as from 2009. 
  • Prohibiting the installation of oil-fired boilers in new buildings as from 2009.
  • Introducing a new scheme for supporting the conversion of oil-fired boilers to boilers using renewable energy. 
  • Increasing the capital of the fund for the promotion of energy efficiency measures and the use of renewable energy by up to NOK 10 billion by 2012.
  • Initiating a programme for the development of marine wind turbines. This will intensify the efforts to develop emission-free energy systems, particularly on the Norwegian continental shelf. 
  • Increasing the capital of the fund for sustainable gas technologies so that the efforts to develop emission-abatement technology can be intensified.
  • Taking targeted and coordinated measures to expand the production of bioenergy by up to 14 TWh. 
  • Continuing the efforts to improve public transport, including the efforts to improve rail transport.
  • Reviewing whether all or part of the transport sector should be included in the emissions trading scheme.
  • Working to promote the inclusion of international air and sea traffic in future international agreements on climate change. 
  • In a dialogue with the manufacturing sector, considering what measures should be taken in those industries that are not obliged to take part in the emissions trading scheme or not subject to the carbon tax, including the introduction of a requirement for some or all of the industries to take part in the emissions trading scheme and/or voluntary agreements. 
  • Invite the largest towns to cooperate on reducing local emissions, especially those from road traffic, heating and waste management.

The white paper contains a proposal for a new investment fund that will give priority to the environment, energy, tourism, marine and maritime sectors in line with the Government’s policy platform, and that will focus on climate and environmental measures in all five areas. The tax system will also be utilised to encourage environmentally friendly behaviour within a revenue-neutral framework. This does not mean that the total tax level will be higher than the 2004 level, but that raised environmental and climate-related taxes will be offset by reductions in other taxes.

Climate action plans by sector
The white paper contains proposals for climate targets and action plans for the main sectors responsible for greenhouse gas emissions: petroleum and energy, transport, the manufacturing industries, primary industries and waste management. The main purpose of such action plans is to identify measures that will result in cost-effective emissions reductions that are not currently being implemented in the sector concerned.